I know there are a lot topics on this regarding inspecting heat exchangers, but I’m in the process of trying to explain to client what a heat exchanger does.
Inspection for a client last week. The home had the HVAC system replaced with a Trane system with a AC compressor unit and a propane fueled furnace uint with a heat exchanger. The listing states it’s a heat pump, propane unit. I’ve verified that the compressor is AC only as does the warranties the client sent me.
Based on info the seller has told the client, he’s still under the impression that a heat exchanger works the same way as a heat pump. It heats even if the propane burners are not on. Based on my research, I disagree with the seller but just trying to get my ducks in a row if need be.
I’ve already stated that the HVAC installer should clarify, just wondering on my end.
Heat pumps use the same technology, or similar, to that found in a refrigerator units or an air conditioners. It extracts heat from a source, such as the surrounding air, geothermal energy stored in the ground, or nearby sources of water or waste heat from a factory. It then amplifies and transfers the heat to where it is needed.
That’s why I put “heat pump” in quotes. It is not what most people think of when we say heat pump. All the client really needs to know is that it can’t move heat from outdoors to indoors. In other words, it is not a heat source.
Here is another example of an actual heat-pump. Not all manufacturers are as clear, so don’t rely on this unless it says “heat-pump”. Some just say condenser with no other information so you have to go to the model #.
Ignore the red squares, I highlighted the important information.
The heat pump itself consists of a compressor, which moves a refrigerant through a refrigeration cycle, and a heat exchanger, which extracts heat from the source. The heat is then passed on to a heat sink through another heat exchanger.